Papier Mache Cactus


For the cactus:

  1. Gather tools and materials listed above, then print the PDF template below.
  2. Trace the template onto the foam block and cut the shape with a foam cutter or utility knife. After cutting, smooth out the edges with your knife.
  3. Insert half of the popsicle stick into the bottom of the foam cactus, then use this as a handle as you cover the foam with CelluClay. Allow this to dry overnight. We recommend creating the bases while the papier mache is drying.
  4. Once the foam is dry, use acrylic craft paint to create your cactus designs.

For the square base:

  1. Cut two 2.5-inch squares from the foam sheet and hot glue the two squares together. Trim two 3.5-inch squares and three 10.5 x 1 inch strips from coral tissue paper.
  2. Brush a light layer of mod podge onto the tissue paper and attach to the top and bottom edges of the foam block.
  3. Mod podge the strips going around the edges of the block until it is completely covered. Use a craft knife to cut a slit in the top of the block.

For Tissue Flowers:

  1. Cut a .5 x 3 inch strip of yellow tissue paper and fringe the edge using fringe scissors. You can also do this with regular scissors. Brush some mod podge onto the edge of the strip and wrap it around a 4-inch piece of floral wire.
  2. Cut 1.5 x 10 inch strip of pink tissue paper. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, and then in half again. Use the template to cut out 4 layers of petals, all attached. Unfold the layers, brush mod podge along the bottom edge, and roll tightly around the fringe center. Use wire cutters to trim excess floral wire.

Assembling the Papier Mache Cactus:

  1. Assemble the cactus by poking the flower into the arms of the cactus, then stick the popsicle stick into the base and secure with hot glue.


Papier mache is a fabulous crafting technique for any age, and a papier mache cactus can appeal to all sorts of styles. Because the papier mache needs to dry overnight, we recommend assembling the bases while you wait. Once they are dry, you can easily customize the colors of your cactus and create your own designs with paint. The photo tutorial and instructions specifically apply to the cactus with the arms, but you can use the same technique to make the other shapes. Jessica made the circular cactus using a 2-inch foam ball and toothpicks that she painted white. So simple! The result is an adorable decor project that you can use to add some life to your end tables or work desk. This can also be a great kid’s craft, as long as an adult does all the foam cutting. Let this project inspire your imagination!

More Cactus Delights

If you love cactus designs, be sure to check out our crepe paper cacti or cute felt cactus pincushion. Head over to our membership page to join in on the crafty fun, or follow us Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We would love to see photos of your papier mache cactus, so share them with us using #DIYDreamingWithLia! Get in on the creative process by telling us your project ideas in the comments below. Until next time! ~ Lia & Team

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